Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Carnival of Homeschooling

Welcome to this week's edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling. Compiling this carnival has been a welcome break from the remodeling we are doing. Homeschooling and writing about homeschoolers is so soothing to me compared to making all the choices about countertops, granite, faucets etc, that I have been making.

I am truly thankful that I scheduled the remodeling to be done from May to August. I can't imagine being stuck in the house with remodeling during winter. My brain is so fried by all the decorating choices I have been making that I could not come up with a theme for this carnival, so instead of having a theme, I broke the posts up into topics and have placed pics of my delightful offspring at random spots within the copy. We start this topic off with posts that recap this last school year.

Recapping the 2009/2010 school year.

Co-ops play a large part in the lives of many homeschoolers and summer is often the time when we analyze how well the co-op worked for us during the preceding year and what we want from the co-op for the following year.

These children were having fun pretending to be horses and charioteers at our co-op during their Aeneid class.

Homeschool Dad shares a video of that recaps his family's co-op experiences for the year. His video shows what a great experience a co-op can be.
My family attends the Homeschool Out of the Box co-op where my children took an awe inspiring literature class. Lydia, of Little Blue School taught the Aeneid to children from the age of 4 to about 13. (not all at the same time of course, she taught an enrichment class to the little ones and then had academic track classes for the older children). The children took part in gladiator games, chariot races and learned the Roman virtues. My favorite part of the entire endeavor was listening to the children recite the first 14 lines of the Aeneid in Latin.

Here are all the children singing some of the Aeneid in Latin.

Katherine of No fighting, no biting. speaks about her family's piano recital.

Home Economics.

Home economics is a topic near and dear to my heart. I believe that too many parents, homeschooling or not, do not give their children sufficient skills in running/caring for a home, cooking and needlecraft. It's good to see homeschoolers blogging about how they are going about teaching their children to be self-sufficient within their homes.

Mrs. White of The Legacy of Home has started an ambitious project with her 15 year, daughter. For the next 60 days, they are hand-sewing an apron a day. She sees this as a seamstress apprenticeship for her daughter. Visit her page to see links to her sewing and Facebook pages.

Mrs. White, you have my fullest admiration. Hand-sewing, when a machine is available, takes more patience and fortitude than I have. You are giving your daughter a great gift.

Roscommon Acres finds that homemade birthday cakes make celebrating birthdays much more special. The Thinking Mother teacher's her 10 year old son to make chicken fajitas.

Teachable Moments

One of the beauties of homeschooling is that it sensitizes parents to teaching moments.

I lived in the states for a few years before I realized the real purpose of Memorial Day. I never even gave the holiday a thought and if I did, I just thought of it as the official start to summer vacations. I was mortified when I finally realized that it was a holiday memorializing all those members of the armed forces who have given their lives to protect our freedoms.

Jessica of Teachable Moments found this Memorial Day particularly poignant as her brother is preparing for war with a group of young marines.

Summer Schooling

What are you doing this summer? Do you take the entire year off, or do you school year round? Perhaps you do something else?

I Capture the Rowhouse is taking a break from regular schooling and is studying movies.
I hope that this will be a little bit of the science of movies, a little bit of art and a little bit of culture. Classic films are cultural reference points the same way that plays, music, and other works of art are. However, I’m also hoping this unit will add a little more media literacy to my kids’ lives. We already talk about commercials and the way that things are sold. However, I think there’s more to media literacy than that. I’m hoping to work on Mushroom and BalletBoy’s ability to talk about how moving images, music and story can make us feel certain ways and how that works.

Charlotte Mason

Living Charlotte Mason in California gives details on how to run a Charlotte Mason study group. I found this blog post to be immensely useful as I've never been sure how to go about doing something like this. I like how her study group encompasses art, science and foreign languages.

Book Reviews

Kris of At Home Science reviews "Finding Darwin's God", a book that attempts to reconcile religion and evolution.
Evolution, Creationism, Microevolution, Intelligent Design, Materialism, Science and Religion...where does one begin to understand what all controversy is about? Start with Kenneth Miller's book, Finding Darwin's God.

Kenneth Miller is a Catholic cell biologist that clearly explains all of these subjects. He begins by taking us through the volumes of evidence supporting Evolution, including the scientific meaning of "theory" that is often misused by opponents of Evolution. He then gives the details of Creationism, Microevolution-only, and Intelligent Design, describing not only where these proposals are wrong based on the scientific evidence, but also where they are philosophically insufficient to explain God's relationship to His creation.

Alasandra reviews, "Love in a Time of Homeschooling".
Her experience with homeschooling seems very different then mine. Maybe it was because they knew it was only for one year. Also because she still had two children in public school her family didn't enjoy the same amount of flexibility that most homeschool families enjoy. At first it seemed as if what they were really doing was "school at home" although toward the end they did seem to grasp the freedom homeschooling allows and the creativity that can spring from it. I actually found the rest of the book slow going and didn't enjoy it as much as the first few chapters.

Homeschooling Creatively.

One of the reasons I homeschool is for the flexibility it affords me in how, what and when I teach my children.

Her Own Copy discusses how she has successfully used Journal writing with her reluctant writer.

Henry Cate of Why Homeschooling compares the time that is wasted in schooling out of the home vs. schooling in the home. Unlike Henry, our children do not go from the breakfast table into school. Our children go from bed to school. I only make breakfast about an hour into their school day. Lest you think I am a totally evil mom, my kids decided to do school this way. They wake up and start doing their assigned schoolwork. They often start school between 6 and 6:30am. I take my time getting, make breakfast for all of us and then we start with mommy instruction.
Shira doing a history lesson
Dwarves and Blokus discusses how a simple computer game Dwarf Fortress lead to huge amounts of learning. Her son started learning Python, magma flows and much more.

Quirky Mamademonstrates how she uses post card swaps to teach geography to her preschoolers.

Let's Play Math has written a brilliant post on 5th grade Hobbit Math. I can't wait to give my kids her worksheet on decimals, ratios and percents as it is written around "The Hobbit".

Little Blue School discusses why you should teach your child to write a novel.
In encouraging a child to write a novel, you're not just asking them to produce a book. You're promoting several important benefits in their education, and in their development as a person. Writing a novel, for kids and teens, really has very little to do with the final product, you see. While their books are fantastic and we love to read them, the true purpose of writing at this age is not to create the Next Big Book that will bring the publishing industry to its knees. It's all about the process, and kids learn much from the process of writing a novel.

My entry in this carnival is my review of Prufrock Press' reading comprehension program, Jacob's Ladder. I give this program a wholehearted thumbs up. It makes teaching fun (for my children at least). We all thoroughly enjoy working with this program.

Summer Reading Programs

Beverly Hernandez is one again running a Summer Reading Club for Homeschoolers.
The 12th Annual Summer Reading Club begins today! Get those library cards out! The purpose of the Summer Reading Club is to encourage students to read for pleasure, help the reluctant reader along and reward them for their efforts. Get your kids signed up and reading all summer long.

The Homeschool Buyers Co-op is giving away an iPad and 12, $15 Amazon gift certificates in their summer reading program.


Home Spun Juggling ruminates on testing and testing anxiety.

Rational Jenn discusses kids and money. In the first post she talks about her stance on kids and money and in the second she gives an update on how allowances are working for her family.
Explaining about financial constraints, and how to make purchases based on your values, has been really beneficial, for the most part. One of the things I'm doing these days is planning our dinner menu for the week in advance and then buying according to my list and plan. This helps me stick with eating right and keeps our grocery budget in balance, too. So when we're at the store and one of them asks to buy something, I feel free to say "No, I don't think I'll buy that today. I have enough money to buy the things on my list, but no extra money for extras today." Or when trying to make a purchasing decision, I'll speak out loud and often enlist their assistance:

Living Charlotte Mason in California discusses the differences between two graduation ceremonies she attended and how different teh homeschooled children were compared to the public schooled children.
This day was the perfect reminder to me to think about the other things. To remember the countless hours I've spent with my children doing so much more than school. To think about the relationship we've developed with one another. To remember the victories and triumphs we have shared.

Parenting Squad discusses the topic of behavior contracts with teens.


We end this carnival with two freebies.

Linda Dobson is giving away approximately 20 years of copies of Home Education Magazine.
Here’s the deal. These issues have been kept in a filing cabinet inside a closet. I have them all out, but I apologize that I just don’t have time to go through them to confirm how complete, or even when they begin. I did see 1986 in there somewhere…which would mean we’re talking well over twenty years worth of timeless information, resources, and personal stories that can help anybody get started homeschooling, or support anyone who is already on the journey!

iPad Weekly reviews a free app: This Day in History.
The application’s one and only feature is providing 4-10 historical events that happened on any specific day of the year. The application defaults to the current date. For example, Today (June 4th), Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, was born on 1808. The Dutch West India Company was chartered in 1621 and King George V was born in 1865.

This ends the this Carnival of Homeschooling. Why not share your blog posts and ideas in the next carnival. You can post your entries here


Rachel said...

I love the idea of studying the movies! And starting school first, then eating bfast. It always seems like the morning is crazy - its a great idea to have the kids active while I'm fiddling around the kitchen. Thanks for the great tips. We start homeschooling this fall. I'll have to be back!

Shez said...

Rachel, my life has been so much easier since I instituted the system of having the kids work on their assigned work while I dressed and fiddled in the kitchen. Much less time was wasted. I write down everything I want to do the next day before we go to bed. The kids know that they just have to look at the whiteboard every morning.

Kris said...

Shez, thanks for putting together this incredible carnival!

Alasandra said...

Thanks for including my post.

I love remodeling, AFTER it's finished.

Anonymous said...

We also have breakfast partway into our morning school time! Usually we're all (even me) still in pajamas. Even more often, the kids eat homemade toaster waffles on the sofa as I read something a stack of books aloud about whatever topic we're on. Then we do table work or whiteboard work.

Thanks for hosting an awesome carnival!

SmallWorld at Home said...

Great carnival! Thanks for hosting. Your layout is great!

Pragmatic Mom said...

I wanted to share my list of Favorite Books for Reluctant Boy Readers Grades 3-5th at http://www.pragmaticmom.com/?page_id=1899

Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World

I blog on children's literature, education and parenting

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RHurst said...

Great post! It was a really enjoyable read! I have always wanted to try homeschooling, and maybe this year I can. My son is interested in becoming a marine, so I was thinking of signing him up for the young marines! What a tough group of kids!